Summer Reading Challenge

I have a problem. I buy books. Too many books. I measure things I want in books – specifically – used books. As in – I’d love to buy the latest tablet but that’d be like eighty used books.

I’d rather have the books.

Murder at the Vicarage

My Latest Book

Thus as an avid book fan and reader and writer of them I submit this thought to you during this beautiful summer.

A lot of luster can be lost on reading when we turn to the same old self-help, western, romance, fantasy, and classic author. Yes, even classics can get dull when that is all we read. I once heard an interview where author Neil Gaiman said Tolkien didn’t read fantasy books, he read books on Old Norse and Finnish philology and it helped him, obviously, write books of his own flavor.

As you think of what book you may devour this summer go out of the way. Despise ordinary and go on a distant hunt, far away from your normal go-to genre as possible. If you read fiction only by male writers get a non-fiction book written by a female like Madeleine L’Engle’s A Circle of Quiet. If you only read romances check out H. G. Well’s The Time Machine.

We all have different tastes but reading the usual suspects is akin to going to the same restaurant and ordering the same thing. There are millions of books out there. Good ones. I wrote an article last year published here about how Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein changed my life. It was pure accident and I am forever grateful for it.

So go out there and read. Challenge your mind with a new flavor of novel. If you want a suggestion ask below. If you have already decided please share.

2 thoughts on “Summer Reading Challenge

  1. I’ve found that when I stick to reading just one genre my writing suffers. I’m an equal opportunity reader. In the last week I’ve read Stephen King, Kate DiCamillo, Tracy Groot, and whoever wrote The Family Under the Bridge. Reading that way keeps my brain engaged and ready for the challenges of writing. Besides, I just love reading.

  2. Nice mix! I am reading a weird fantasy novel my friend encouraged me to try. Not sure I like it but it is stretching my mind. Also reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which reminds me of DiCamillo mixed with Hemingway, if that’s possible. Simplistically beautiful prose. I reread sentences a lot just to hear them again. I recommend that, even though I don’t know how it ends 🙂 Also, it won the Pulitzer this year.

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